Tuesday Reads: Hillary Tells It Like It IsPosted: September 12, 2017
Today is the big day, the official release date of Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 presidential campaign. I may skip watching TV today and just read Hillary’s words. I’m already sick and tired of the media bashing her for daring to write about her experience as the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party.
History will recognizer her achievement and her vast contributions to the country, even though today’s “journalists” refuse to give recognize them. And history will record the shameful way the media covered the campaign and Hillary’s role in it even if they will never acknowledge their role in putting an ignorant, incompetent, emotionally disturbed narcissist in the White House.
I can’t remember a single previous losing presidential candidate who was shrieked at to “shut up and go away” as Hillary has been and will continue to be. What more evidence do we need to know that misogyny and sexism are alive and well in 2017 America?
Joe Conason at The National Memo: Why The Media Want Hillary Clinton To Shut Up.
There is something strange about the reproachful media response to What Happened, Hillary Clinton’s new book on the 2016 campaign.
Now everyone knows that the Washington press corps dislikes and distrusts the former Democratic nominee. After all, several of its most eminent members have admitted their herd’s prejudice against her. But the nearly unanimous demand for her to be silent — often presented in the form of blind quotes from her alleged “friends”– cuts against normal journalistic curiosity, let alone the usual lust for fresh gossip.And it doesn’t matter how many times she accepts responsibility for her unexpected defeat by Donald Trump in the Electoral College. Pundits and reporters insist she hasn’t acknowledged her guilt sufficiently, with the requisite sincerity. So the best choice, according to the press, would have been for her to say and write nothing.
Nobody in the media is eager to hear Clinton’s perspective on that catastrophic election cycle — especially not the part about them and their performance. They would rather not reflect on why her “damned emails” were so ridiculously overemphasized. Or why Trump enjoyed constant and groveling promotion as a television spectacle. Or why journalists produced so many misleading “investigations” of the Clinton Foundation, yet so very few examinations of Trump’s longstanding connections to organized crime. Or why vital policy differences between the two candidates received a tiny fraction of media attention.
The press may not top the list of those who earned blame for the election’s outcome, notably including former FBI director James Comey, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, various unnamed Russian malefactors, and Clinton herself. But she has legitimate grievances over how she and her opponent were treated by the American media, particularly several of its most illustrious outlets.
Read the rest at the link above.
Hillary isn’t running for office again, and she’s it like it is. This is why we need her voice.
Susan Page at USA Today: Exclusive: Hillary Clinton says Trump associates helped Russia meddle in the 2016 election.
CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. — Hillary Clinton says she is now convinced that associates of candidate Donald Trump helped Russia meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
“There certainly was communication and there certainly was an understanding of some sort,” Clinton told USA TODAY Monday in a far-ranging interview about her new book, What Happened. “Because there’s no doubt in my mind that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin wanted me to lose and wanted Trump to win. And there’s no doubt in my mind that there are a tangle of financial relationships between Trump and his operation with Russian money. And there’s no doubt in my mind that the Trump campaign and other associates have worked really hard to hide their connections with Russians.”
Does she believe there was collusion by Trump associates?
“I’m convinced of it,” she said, though she stopped short of repeating that explosive word. “I happen to believe in the rule of law and believe in evidence, so I’m not going to go off and make all kinds of outrageous claims. But if you look at what we’ve learned since (the election), it’s pretty troubling.”
The proof of what Clinton believes is continuing to come out on a daily basis. I posted this in the comments yesterday, but it’s worth repeating.
On a Sunday panel show, a Russian politician said U.S. “intelligence missed it when Russian intelligence stole the president of the United States.”
Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the Russian parliamentary body, the Duma, made the remarks on the panel show “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov.”
The focus of the episode was the decline of U.S. power in the world. In that context, said University of Virginia professor Allen Lynch via email, Nikonov was less stating the extent of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, and more mocking the resulting chaos as emblematic of U.S. weakness.
More Russia investigation news emerged last night.
The Washington Post: Trump’s legal team debated whether Kushner should leave White House.
A small group of White House lawyers this summer urged that President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner step down from his White House role amid a broadening probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russians in the 2016 election, according to multiple people familiar with the discussion.
Some of the lawyers worried that the presence of Kushner, a senior adviser with a broad domestic and foreign policy portfolio, created potential legal complications for Trump, while the probe threatened to limit Kushner’s ability to perform his job, these people said.
Kushner had several interactions with Russian officials in the campaign and transition that have drawn interest from investigators, and some White House lawyers warned that even casual discussions between him and Trump could spark additional scrutiny, and there also other types of lawyers for this kind of investigations, and other legal practice areas like dui defense in wrongful accusations.
The debate, first reported Monday night by the Wall Street Journal, took place before a July shake-up of the legal team. The idea to press Kushner to leave was ultimately rejected.
Russian operatives hiding behind false identities used Facebook’s event management tool to remotely organize and promote political protests in the U.S., including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho, The Daily Beast has learned.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Beast that the social-media giant “shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week.” The company declined to elaborate, except to confirm that the events were promoted with paid ads. (This is the first time the social media giant has publicly acknowledged the existence of such events.)
The Facebook events—one of which echoed Islamophobic conspiracy theories pushed by pro-Trump media outlets—are the first indication that the Kremlin’s attempts to shape America’s political discourse moved beyond fake news and led unwitting Americans into specific real-life action.
“This is the next step,” Clint Watts, a former FBI agent and expert on Russia’s influence campaign, told The Daily Beast. “The objective of influence is to create behavior change. The simplest behavior is to have someone disseminate propaganda that Russia created and seeded. The second part of behavior influence is when you can get people to physically do something.”
And this morning, the Chicago Tribune reports: Lawyer says extradition of oligarch tied to Trump campaign chief imminent.
Billionaire Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash is at “great risk” of being brought from Austria to face justice in a Chicago courtroom “within weeks,” his lawyer told a federal judge Monday.
But prosecutors say they are concerned that Firtash — who is wanted on racketeering charges and has ties to President Donald Trump‘s former campaign manager Paul Manafort — will jump on a private jet to Russia if a Chicago judge rules against him before he is handed over to U.S. authorities.
His lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, on Monday told U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer that Firtash has never been to the U.S., and the crimes of which he is accused all happened in India and had no impact on the U.S.
Webb said he feared Firtash’s extradition is imminent, and urged Pallmeyer to throw out the case before Firtash can be put on a Chicago-bound plane.
But prosecutor Amarjeet Bhachu told the judge that the wiretapped conversations linked Firtash to Chicago, and that a bribery scheme also used U.S. banks and cellphones.
Two more before I get started on Hillary’s book. My hardcover hasn’t arrived yet, but I downloaded the free sample to my Kindle.
Lawyers representing Donald Trump’s current and former aides are giving their clients one simple piece of advice: don’t lie to protect the president.
As special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators prepare to question high-ranking aides — including Hope Hicks, Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer — in the coming weeks, Trump’s long history of demanding his employees’ complete loyalty are being put to the test.
But Trump stalwarts know the president is closely following the media coverage of the Russia case – and the last thing they want is to be deemed a turncoat whose answers end up becoming further fuel for investigators.
Several of the lawyers and a Tenenbaum Criminal Lawyer representing current and former aides told POLITICO they’re actively warning their clients that any bonds connecting them to Trump won’t protect them from criminal charges if federal prosecutors can nail them for perjury, making false statements or obstruction of justice.
“What I always tell clients is you can’t protect anybody. You can only hurt yourself,” said a lawyer representing a client involved in the Russia probe. The attorney added that any overt attempts to protect Trump will raise wider suspicions of a cover-up, making matters “worse for everybody.”
The Atlantic: Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?
Donald trump is testing the institution of the presidency unlike any of his 43 predecessors. We have never had a president so ill-informed about the nature of his office, so openly mendacious, so self-destructive, or so brazen in his abusive attacks on the courts, the press, Congress (including members of his own party), and even senior officials within his own administration. Trump is a Frankenstein’s monster of past presidents’ worst attributes: Andrew Jackson’s rage; Millard Fillmore’s bigotry; James Buchanan’s incompetence and spite; Theodore Roosevelt’s self-aggrandizement; Richard Nixon’s paranoia, insecurity, and indifference to law; and Bill Clinton’s lack of self-control and reflexive dishonesty.
“Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm,” James Madison wrote in one of the Federalist Papers during the debates over the ratification of the Constitution. He was right, but he never could have imagined Donald Trump.
At this point in the singular Trump presidency, we can begin to assess its impact on American democracy. The news thus far is not all bad. The Constitution’s checks and balances have largely stopped Trump from breaking the law. And while he has hurt his own administration, his successors likely won’t repeat his self-destructive antics. The prognosis for the rest of our democratic culture is grimmer, however. Trump’s bizarre behavior has coarsened politics and induced harmful norm-breaking by the institutions he has attacked. These changes will be harder to undo.
Trump, in short, is wielding a Soprano touch on American institutions. “I’m fucking King Midas in reverse here,” Tony Soprano once told his therapist. “Everything I touch turns to shit.”
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?